The majority of new business meetings are failing to bear fruit for the UK’s small and medium-sized firms, a new survey has found.
The survey, by marketing specialist TheSeed.com, found that smaller firms are wasting time and money going to new business meetings unprepared and without first ensuring that the prospect is viable or feasible for them to deliver.
Although three-quarters of smaller businesses spend around £500 a month attending new business meetings, the majority said they spent less than a day preparing for a pitch.
Consequently, around 70% of small business owners said that two thirds of meetings they attend fail to turn into new business.
More than a third of small and medium-sized firms have lost out on business because they were unable to meet the budgets, while others found they were in fact unable to meet the requirements and some had misunderstood the initial enquiry in the first place.
Keir McConomy, managing director of The Seed, commented: “In the current market [small firms] have a range of techniques available to them for winning new business – everything from networking to pay per lead marketing solutions.
“The secret for all of them is to qualify the prospect properly and prepare a pitch that meets the brief. This will not only increase the chances of winning the business, but will save on time, money and effort in terms of attending the pitch.”
The research also suggested that just 8% of current new business comes from the international market, suggesting that there is much potential for smaller businesses to tap into overseas markets, The Seed said.
© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007